If concept cars roared on Day 1 of the Delhi Auto Expo, it was the turn of the real deal - production ready vehicles, on day 2.
India's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki on Friday unveiled its first multi utility vehicle Ertiga, the car that is based on the RIII concept showcased at the same event two years ago. Ertiga is expected to hit the roads in March.
"We would like to start the sale of this car as quick as possible," said Shinzo Nakanishi, managing director and CEO, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. "Possibly the commercial roll-out would begin by end of March or beginning of April this year."
Ertiga is central to Maruti's plans of regaining some of the lost marketshare due to the entry of a number of newer players in the market such as Volkswagen, Nissan, Toyota, Honda and Volkswagen.
French carmaker Renault too joined that list with the launch of its maiden small car Pulse. Priced at Rs 5.77-6.25 lakh (ex showroom Delhi), Pulse is powered only by a 1.5 litre diesel engine. It will directly compete with Maruti's Swift.
"Pulse will raise the bar for the premium segment compact cars with its vast array of features, focus on safety and performance which is both powerful and fuel efficient," said Marc Nassif, managing director, Renault India. "We are going ahead with our plans to launch five new products for the Indian market between the middle of 2011 and December this year."
The list of competitors for the Swift does not end with the Pulse alone. US automobile giant General Motors also unveiled a compact car Chevrolet Sail that will go on sale by the middle of this year.
Sail will be the first car that GM would launch in India from its Chinese joint venture partner Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation.
Along with the Sail, it also showcased a concept multi utility vehicle that will hit the roads by the end of this year.